CHRIS ARMSTRONG – CONSTRUCTION DIRECTOR
5 minutes with Levolux’s Construction Director, Chris Armstrong as he celebrates his one-year anniversary with the company.
1. Can you tell us a little about your work experience?
I started in the Construction Industry in 1992 as a laborer for a national roofing & Cladding contractor. I eventually learned the trade and went on to run my own labour gangs working for multiple contractors across the UK. I then decided that I wanted to move into Project Management and self-funded my BSc (Hons) in Construction Management whilst running the gangs. In 2012 I got the opportunity to work in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on King Abdul Aziz International Airport as a PM and spent 12 months working on this project, before moving to Another project at Dubai International Airport. I Continued with airfield projects both in the UK and across the Middle East, before taking on the role of Senior PM at Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai. Once I had this project running and had got a team of PM’s, Site Managers, Admin staff and drivers in place I began planning and preparing other projects across Dubai. When I left Dubai in 2019 I had moved up to General Manager Position and was overseeing all Middle East Operations.
I returned to the UK in 2019 and became Construction Director for a well-known unitised facades company overseeing operations on Hospitals and various high-rise buildings around Canary Wharf and the UK in general. In 2020 I joined Levolux as Construction Director.
2. How does Levolux differ from businesses you’ve worked in before?
Levolux is a turnaround business, which brings its own challenges. I think the main difference from other businesses that I have worked in, is the strong drive towards the new company strategy and core values. These are embedded in all of the new processes and procedures and makes for a more collaborative working environment. Another major difference is the working from home which Levolux had moved across to prior to COVID-19 arriving on the scene. This way of working has obvious benefits to the business and the employee, but it is very apparent that the face-to-face meetings are still required, and aide in morale and team building.
3. What element do you enjoy most about Levolux?
I find the interaction with the team very enjoyable. All of the team members from across all departments are in tune with the business ethos and core values, and this shows through in the way that the teams interact and deal with challenges as a unit.
4. What is it that interests you about the construction industry?
The construction industry is an exciting and ever-changing industry, my interests lie in new products and people development. I take great pleasure from seeing people grow in skillset and confidence and am thankful that I can be part of a company that promotes health and wellbeing, along with personnel and professional development.
5. What is an interesting fact people don’t know about you?
I am a fully qualified PADI Dive Master, although I haven’t been diving for some time!
6. What do you do in your spare time?
I spend my spare time restoring a classic car, hiking in the Peaks, and trying to play Golf.
7. What makes you laugh?
It doesn’t take a lot to make me laugh, I have a very childish sense of humour, comedians that make laugh include Lee Evans, Tommy Cooper, Micky Flannagan. Films that make me laugh include; Snatch, Step Brothers, Good morning Vietnam.
8. What film sums up your character?
9. What have you worked on that you are most proud of?
King Abdul-Aziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (image to right) – Construction Manager – Training local labour to install a Kalzip Roof System on what was at the time, the largest construction site in the world.
10. Most helpful advice you have been given?
I have a few nuggets, most of which I cannot put on paper! One that sticks in my mind is from way back when I was a young fella on the tools and looking to get my first mortgage. A contracts manager called Mike Simpson (RIP) who reminded me of Ron Atkinson, advised me to “always go for a mortgage that is slightly out of reach, you will always find a way to cover it”
11. What is your favourite building in the world?
My home!!! Alternatively, I was blown away when I visited the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the sheer scale and beauty of it. In fact, it’s that nice inside that they make you take your shoes off before going in!